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Christmas Ghosts Hardcover – September 1, 1987

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Arbor House Pub Co; First Edition edition (September 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877958734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877958734
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,359,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kathryn Cramer is a writer, anthologist, & Internet consultant who lives in Pleasantville, New York. She won a World Fantasy Award for best anthology for The Architecture of Fear, co-edited with Peter Pautz; she was nominated for a World Fantasy Award for her anthology Walls of Fear. She co-edited several anthologies of Christmas and fantasy stories with David G. Hartwell and now does the annual Year's Best Fantasy and Year's Best SF with him. She is on the editorial board of The New York Review of Science Fiction, (for which she has been nominated for the Hugo Award many times). She is a consultant with the Scientific Information Group for Wolfram Research.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul Camp on December 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
Christmas is just around the corner, and I find that it is time to review another book that blends fantasy with the Yuletide season. My selection this year is _Christmas Ghosts_ (1987), edited by those estimable editors, Kathryn Cramer and David G. Hartwell. Ever since the nineteenth the nineteenth century, there has been a tradition of telling ghost stories 'round the fire on Christmas eve. Two of the greatest ghost stories of all time-- Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw"-- are linked to Christmas. Indeed, they may have contributed to this tradition.

One of the stories in this anthology has been a favorite of mine ever since I read it in fourth grade: "The Water Ghost of Harrowby Hall," by John Kendrick Bangs. It's the one about the ghost of the _very wet_ woman who haunts a mansion every Christmas eve. I missed some of Bangs' biting humor when I first read it as a child. The last line tells us something about the hero that we were not aware of before.

Charles Dickens is represented with two stories, "The Goblins Who Stole a Sexton" and "A Christmas Tree". Neither is in the same league as "A Christmas Carol," but both are very good. The first is about some goblins in a churchyard on Christmas eve who teach an ill-tempered sexton some manners. The second is more of a sketch than a story. It tells of a wonderful tree, some enchanted toys, and a sinister doll's mask.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Christmas Banquet" tells of a skeleton who presides over an annual Christmas feast populated by some unpleasant characters. Did Hawthorne have Jeremy Bentham in mind? As with many of Hawthorne's tales, it is an allegory warning against the separation of the head from the heart and the corresponding sin of coldness.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so happy to find a copy of this book available. When I tell people that once upon a time it was a tradition to tell ghost stories at Christmas they don't believe me. I feel this book was meant to be an enjoyable read, one that makes you wonder not one that scares you and keeps you up at night. If you want that, read something more contemporary but if you do it's my opinion that you will miss a good read.
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